Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Random" encounters for that map.
I thought it would be cool to have a set "threat" for each hex, sort of like the "lairs" listed for several hexes of every JG Wilderlands map, so I just rolled a "random" wilderness encounter for each, and made the resulting encounter "permanent" for that hex. Here's what I got:
2107(Beckshire): Men, Nomads
2108(Rough wasteland): Dragon, Red(!)
2207(The little islet NE of Beckshire): Elemental, Fire
2007(Farmlands): Sphynx, Hieraco
2008(the Bane Hills): Coeurl
2009(Lake Ifrin): Fish, Giant Pike
1906(Baeldric Mtns, the Thorpe of Black Dell pop60): Ogre Magi
1907(Baeldric Mtns, Castle Nirdrim): Spiders, Huge
1908(the Thorny Mire): Ants, Giant, Queen w/Hive
1909(Magg Forest): Werewolves
So just right there I have plenty of beasties to develop local rumors, crises, quests, and even mythologies.
Getting a result of Men, Nomads right on top of Beckshire was unexpected, I decided to make them some sort of Gypsies, a wandering clan (there are 175 or so of them) that has taken up residence just outside of town. Maybe they have some startling secrets, maybe they'll be a good source of fortune-tellers, wilderness guides, and even magic potions for the players.
Having a Red Dragon just south of town gives an obvious threat to Beckshire and its surrounding farms. It should also give the players something to work towards - maybe someday they'll be tough enough to fight off its depravations, or even track it back to its lair, which is sure to be heaped with treasure!
The Fire Elemental on the little island NE of town opens up some interesting possibilities. As elementals are Neutral and possess intelligence, albeit low, it could offer some roleplaying potential, as opposed to simply a threat. Perhaps there was once a mage school on the island, and a wayward summoning led to their destruction. Or maybe the elemental was placed there by a jealous god to guard a vault containing dangerous secrets.
The Hobgoblins on the beach SE of town (about 120 of them) I've decided are shipwrecked or ship-borne marauders of some sort (Hob-Vikings?) who have begun to make secretive raids farther and farther inland, trying to keep their presence as secretive as possible until they are ready to raid Beckshire itself. This group offers an immediate threat to the players' hometown, as well as a level-appropriate challenge for them, offering combat experience, xp's, and a chance to win some local prestige.
The hieraco-sphynx NW of town is a powerful and evil predator, second only in the region to the Red Dragon. The fact that it haunts quiet farmlands rather than a desolate wilderness means this beast must be dealt with; its lair is doubtless a charnel house of nightmarish proportions.
The Coerl(aka Displacer Beasts) of the Bane Hills are a common and numerous enough predator, making travel through the hills dangerous, and occasionally coming down into cultivated lands to prey on domesticated animals.
The Giant Pike of Lake Ifrin offer popular and dangerous sport fishing for the local nobility, as well as a hazard for local fishermen. Perhaps they guard a sunken ruin of some sort...
The Ogre Magi of Black Dell offers some possibilities. It could be a threat to the settlement, or due to its polymorph self ability, it could even be the leader of the place. As I haven't even determined what race this thorpe is, I'll hold off on determining this until I need to.
Who knows what the monstrous Spiders near Castle Nirdrim guard? Are they the default local predator, or do they infest the castle itself?
The Giant Ants of the Thorny Mire (a whole hive!) offers another level-appropriate challenge for the party. Clearing the hive could open up new farming lands for the locals, and their tunnels could lead to secrets below the surface...
I'm also saving the Werewolves of the Magg Forest for later, though I'm going to let the players know they are there, and that rumor says they kill and eat all who pass through the forest. But perhaps all is not as it seems...